Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pink Floyd - Animals (1977)

Pink Floyd is ubiquitous; the reasons of which are fairly obvious: Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall established enough of a fanbase to last an eternity; but what of the other records? If the aforementioned albums are considered the Golden Era of Pink Floyd, we must remember that Animals, released right before The Wall, is placed squarely in its midst. (Disclosure: Pink Floyd is my favorite band and I am unabashed in any kind of praise I will undoubtedly bestow upon them.)

Drawing inspiration from Orwell's Animal Farm, the album's lyrical content revolves around a series of anthropomorphic depictions of pigs, sheep and dogs in a not-so-favorable manner. Lyrics notwithstanding (even though I think they're great), the music is amazing. The album's bookends, two short pieces entitled "Pigs On The Wing (Part One) and "Pigs On The Wing (Part Two)", are interesting insofar as they're almost identical except for the tone they impart. Part One is more introductory and matter-of-fact, whereas Part Two is darker and more sarcastic in tone. The album's set-pieces, though, are where the greatness begins. "Dogs" is a monstrous 17-minute mini-epic replete with blistering acoustics and even dog howls; it's like an overly focused and possibly too-structured band jam except that it paints bleak caricatures of businessmen. "Pigs (Three Different Ones) is a politically scathing ode to, I suspect, some specific individuals, one of whom is named Whitehouse (my British politics in the 70s is not up to snuff, sorry). The song, as expected, also features a throng of pig noises. "Sheep" is my favorite track; a nasty romper of a song with some very delicious bass and an ever-present ominous sort of feeling -- as if wolves were encircling a poor little herd of sheep. The little sheep sermon is fantastic, especially the part where the sheep rise up against the dogs and threaten them with karate. Favorite line: "Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream. Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream." All in all, a very essential, very wonderful little long player that is as bleak and nasty as the animals it portrays. A

1 comment:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Another good review for an album that should go down as a classic of all time. I'm getting hooked on you're writing, its very good!